"Look around, Raven" (Day Sixty-Four)
I was once riding my bike with SSG Jesse Williams before his second deployment near the Ballard Locks. It was a beautiful sunny spring day in Seattle and as usual, I had my head down and was thinking about some sort of business. I remember Jesse telling me to look around and explaining how awesome it was. Jesse called me Raven and I called him Kaewe. There are long stories behind each of these names, but for now, one can just think of them as radio call signs as we used them when we communicated amongst ourselves.
I have done my best to look around on The Ride, but it hasn't always been easy for me given all that goes on off the bikes. After riding with us for two days, our ride coach Sharon Cowdery reminded me of the importance of doing this and having fun like Jesse would if he was along for the ride. Lately, I have been doing a better job of this.
Day Sixty-Four started on scenic country roads. I remember passing a family of horses within the first mile and the scenery to my right could not be missed. It was time to pick my head up and look around. Most of the ride was on road that started with "Old", like Old Lee Highway and Old Route 100. My guess is these are the roads that were there prior to the interstates as they have been running close by and in the same direction as the major roads the past couple days. As a result, we have been given the opportunity to enjoy one of the most scenic parts of The Ride as we near the end of Act II and prepare for our turn north in about a week.
About halfway in, Mom and Dad (aka Mama Bear and Papa Bear) found a great spot for lunch as they always do, and we relaxed longer than usual at a picnic table. The weather has been the best the past couple days, hovering around 80 degrees and making sitting outside in the shade actually bearable. We continued to enjoy the wildlife of horses and even roosters that were hanging around as we ate and relaxed a bit. I made friends with a dog who joined the picnic and gave her some cold cuts and water. It was nice to see a friendly dog for a change and not have one chasing after us.
After lunch, it was more of the same, scenic riding. We rode for a long while along a river that was moving along nicely enough that Matt and I discussed breaking out the Speedos for a quick dip. We decided to do this another day as it was getting late.
We crossed the river and ran into Mama Bear and Papa Bear again. This time, they were waiting with lemon italian ices. We made another stop and enjoyed the moment before carrying on and finishing the day in Christiansburg.
We have 92 miles tomorrow, so we loaded up on carbs at the Olive Garden and continued to laugh and enjoy the rest of day. Just like Jesse would have done - I know he is smiling too today.
We also got some good news regarding our ride sponsor Wimmer Solutions that gave us more reason to celebrate. For the second straight year, Wimmer Solutions received the bronze medal for Washington's Best Workplaces. Being ranked in the top three companies to work for in the State of Washington, as voted by the employees, is a testament to the hard work and dedication of the entire Wimmer team. Congratulations!
To the limit,